The Homeland Security chief is "horrified," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is outraged and President Joe Biden is calling the scenes at the southern border where more than 14,000 Haitians and others have gathered in Del Rio, Texas, "horrific and horrible." They have asked the Customs and Border Protection's Office of Professional Responsibility to open an investigation ("DHS chief 'horrified' by images," Sept. 22).
So what are the scenes and images that are causing this reaction from these Democrats? Are they the photos showing the lack of sanitation, the inadequacy of food and water, the squalid conditions under which these poor migrants are forced to live? No, it's the image of a Border Patrol agent on horseback "using his long leather reins to lash at Haitian migrants" (never mind that the photos do not show anyone actually being struck). What a cheap shot in what is clearly an attempt by these politicians to avoid taking responsibility for the disaster they have created.
Ronald Haskvitz, Golden Valley
Keep it up, Peace Corps
Thanks to Paul Thompson for his excellent commentary celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy ("At 60, Peace Corps is still what we can do for our country," Opinion Exchange, Sept. 22). The Peace Corps has been one of the best foreign policy programs of our country. People in more than 60 developing countries around the world have gotten to know the United States through personal connections with young adults, or older ones, who are there to help. And in this time of political polarization, the Peace Corps remains a rare program with bipartisan support. Let's support our Peace Corps and urge our representatives to expand its good work around the world.
Lane Ayres, Edina
Beaucoup thanks for running Paul Thompson's commentary on the Peace Corps.
I have met many Peace Corps alums over the years who uniformly sing its praises but was unaware of then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey's role in its conception.
What especially struck me was the author's statement, "My Peace Corps experience changed my life. I became a global citizen."
Our world would be a better place if we had more global citizens.
William Beyer, St. Louis Park
Yet another national challenge
Regarding the poll results showing the widespread doubt about the election outcome ("Half in outstate doubt 2020 election," front page, Sept. 23): Implied in the results is disappointment that extends to anger and anxiety on the part of those who voted for Donald Trump. This mass psychological reaction — rejecting proven election results — is both sad and frightening. Philosophically speaking, it's sad that so many citizens apparently lack the ability to do the introspection necessary to accept the reality that Trump lost. The frightening implications of these poll results pertain to the realities of our times. Yes, these are indeed challenging times for our country and for the planet. But to learn from this poll that so many Americans have lost faith in our traditional ways of dealing with societal challenges — that so many Americans believe that a despotic government is the only way forward — is one more challenge that must be added to an already long list.
Richard Masur, Minneapolis
To all those citizens who question the validity of the past presidential election, please talk to an election judge. The procedures in place are rock solid and valid. You might learn something. Repeated lies don't become truth even if repeated infinitely.
Florian Lauer, St. Paul
Amazing. Many Minnesota Republicans don't believe Biden won the election. In 2016, Trump started the lie that elections where rigged. He lost the popular vote by 3 million votes but Democrats accepted the fact he won. In 2020 Trump repeated the lie that elections were rigged. He lost by over 7 million votes and, of course, that meant the election was rigged. Honest Republicans throughout the country agreed that he lost — not good enough evidently for most Minnesota Republicans. I suppose the next thing they'll come up with is the Vikings didn't lose four Super Bowls.
It's time Minnesota Republicans to get over it. He lost.
Phil Disch, Eden Prairie
It was with sadness (but with very little surprise) that I read the Star Tribune's account of how half the population of outstate Minnesota doubts the validity of the 2020 election and does not believe that the events of Jan. 6 comprised an insurrection and an attempted governmental coup.
First, I find it interesting that almost none of this election doubting was in vogue until Trump entered the political picture. Apparently, he and his Republican minions have decided that they will now contest any election that they lose, loudly braying that the process was somehow rigged and is therefore unacceptable. May I remind all those who doubt the validity of the 2020 election that Trump tried over 60 times to overthrow the election results in court? He was rebuffed repeatedly and firmly. Biden won by over 7 million votes, and President Joe Biden was elected legitimately. Stop disputing that, because it's established and he's not going to resign just because you may want him to do so.
Second, I watched the Jan. 6 events on television with horror. I know what I saw — and what I witnessed was an out-of-control mob that stormed our Capitol building, trashed and damaged government property, tried to interfere with Congress in the performance of its solemn duty to confirm Biden's election, and attempted to locate — and potentially harm or even kill — several of our elected officials, including Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. All of this was done at the behest and encouraging of Trump, Rudy Giuliani and other prominent Republican figures.
You have every right to your opinion, but you don't have the right to your own set of facts — and the facts are these: Joe Biden was legally and officially elected as president, despite what Trump, the Republican Party and Fox News may try to tell you. Also, the events of Jan. 6 were definitely an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. Those events were precipitated by the rhetoric and urging of Trump and his Republican cronies. Make no mistake, citizens — if you believe the election was rigged and that Jan. 6 wasn't an insurrection, you are being hoodwinked, bamboozled and gaslighted by those who want to gain and consolidate political power for their own ends. I encourage you to do your own research, find reputable sources for your information and come to conclusions that are not the product of media-driven misinformation and political jackassery.
Randy Sims, Apple Valley
Join us in sobriety
What a wonderful, uplifting article on the "new approach to sobriety" in Sunday's paper ("Rethinking drinking"). I have been in recovery over half my life, and it has enabled me to achieve academic and professional accomplishments I wouldn't have imagined. I have learned how to celebrate life — all of it — and be in cherished relationships, including a lovely marriage, and being able to watch grandchildren and now great-grandchildren grow and thrive.
Drinking gave me a false sense of myself and turned me into a dark, angry, frightened and rudderless human. Recovery brought honesty, light, enthusiasm and, most of all, hope into my life. Now I get to share that hope with others every day. If you are considering sobriety I urge you jump in — the water is fine and refreshing!
Charlie Greenman, Minnetonka
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